Wolf Wittenberg 8June2012 Yiddish Book Center
Topics Yiddish Book Center
, National Yiddish Book Center
, Wexler Oral History Project
, Jewish culture
, Wolf Wittenberg, Advice, Childhood, Jewish Identity, Yiddish language, Holocaust, Religion and ritual, Israel, Eastern Europe, United States, Jewish community, Travel, Ellis Island, Lodz, Poland, South Bronx, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sholem Aleichem, John F. Kennedy, 1930a-1990s, Bund, labor movements, civil rights, feminism, orthodox, Hasidism, reconstructionist,
Wolf (Velyl/Bill) Wittenberg was born in London, England in 1920. His father had tried to bring the family to America where he has established roots but found it impossible to get any further than England due to the First World War. As Wolf's father did not like England he moved the family to Lodz, Poland, where Wolf lived with his mother and three siblings in an aunt's house while his father tried to bring the family to America. Wolf remembers attending a Cheder in Poland but does not recall having attended formal schooling. When Wolf was nearly nine, the family, now composed of five children, was brought to the US and Wolf was enrolled in public school in the Bronx. Wolf excelled in school despite not learning any English until he was nine. The family was held overnight at Ellis Island due to his brother's muscular dystrophy but they were soon allowed to enter the US. Wolf had completed nearly two years of university before being drafted into the army, so he ran an office for officers. He first served in Virginia and then later served in Casablanca during the war. Three of his four brothers also served in WWII. Luckily, they all returned. Wolf married in 1948 and had one son whom he raised on Long Island. After retiring, Wolf moved to Florida where he lived with his wife until her death in 1995. He remarried, but the marriage didn't work out and he moved into an assisted living facility.
Wolf Wittenberg was interviewed by Jordan Kutzik on June 8, 2012 at the Yiddish Book Center. This interview is mostly in Yiddish.
To learn more about the Wexler Oral History Project, visit: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/tell-your-story.
To cite this interview: Wolf Wittenberg Oral History Interview, interviewed by Jordan Kutzik, Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project, Karmazin Recording Studio, Yiddish Book Center, June 8, 2012. Video recording, https://archive.org/details/WolfWittenberg8june2012YiddishBookCenter ( [date accessed] )